Ex Urban Outfitters CEO, Berkshire Partner on $350 Million Retail Investment Deal

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Glen Senk at the Annual Retail Industry Luncheon in 2011 where he was honored as "Retail Innovator of the Year."

Glen Senk at the Annual Retail Industry Luncheon in 2011 where he was honored as “Retail Innovator of the Year.”

New York and Boston—Glen T. Senk, past chief executive officer at Urban Outfitters and David Yurman, has partnered with Berkshire Partners, a private investment firm, to “co-invest in innovative, high-growth retail and consumer businesses,” the partners revealed today.

As an initial investment, Berkshire committed $350 million to future investments alongside Senk and his newly-formed firm, Front Row Partners LLC, where he serves as chairman/ceo.

‘Go-to-Market Strategies’

Prior to forming Front Row Partners, Senk left his chief executive spot at David Yurman in February after a two-year tenure at the jeweler. Before that, Senk was chief executive at Urban Outfitters. He also held senior executive positions at Anthropologie, Williams-Sonoma, Habitat, and Bloomingdale’s. Senk serves on the board of directors of Melissa & Doug, and previously served on the boards of Bare Escentuals, cooking.com, David Yurman, Tory Burch, and Urban Outfitters.

“We are excited to partner with Glen, who is a world-class executive with an impressive track record of building and profitably growing innovative consumer companies across channels, including wholesale, stores, and e-commerce,” said Ross Jones, managing director at Berkshire Partners.

Senk said his partnership with Berkshire couldn’t be more “complementary.”

“The consumer marketplace is rapidly evolving, with tremendous opportunities for innovative entrepreneurs with exciting new concepts and go-to-market-strategies,” Senk said. “Our goal through this partnership is to invest in consumer and retailing businesses and help them accelerate their strategies to become industry leaders.”

Berkshire reports more than $11 billion in investments in more than 100 middle market companies. Among them are Aritzia, a women’s fashion apparel retailer; Bare Escentuals, a marketer and retailer of branded cosmetics and skin care products; Carter’s, a marketer and retailer of branded baby and young children’s apparel; Coty Inc., a global designer, manufacturer and marketer of beauty products; Farm Boy, a grocery retailer specializing in quality fresh foods; and Melissa & Doug, a designer and manufacturer of educational toys and children’s products.